January 30, 2011

Pressure Washin'

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:26, 27

As I look back over the year that recently passed, I can see how the Lord has led me, and been working in every circumstance. When He led me to start the blog last February, I had no idea how He would bring such special people (you) into my life to share life's lessons. :)

I remember a particular week during last February that was difficult, but the lesson that He taught me is worth contemplating again. Since He hadn't led anyone to the blog during those "early days," I think I'll share the following post with you, in case you missed it~~Especially if you're Under Pressure right now! My prayer is for the Lord to use this to encourage your heart.

Okay...here's what the post was, dated February 26, 2010:

Ever had one of those days when you just wonder "what else in the world could go wrong?" Pressure here, pressure there, pressure everywhere... except where it needs to be (like a tire!?!?) LOL  Yes, we've all had those days when it just seems as if we can't take it any longer. Just when you feel the walls closing in, He's got His eyes on you.  He knows how much pressure you can take.

Well, this week has been "loads" of fun, and I do mean LOADS. . .of laundry! For some reason my washer is putting out so much water during its drain cycles that the old pipes just can't handle the outflow.  So in order to get a load done, I have to stand there, and "patiently" watch and listen for the washer to drain. As it's draining, I can hear the water quickly rising in the drain pipe. When I DO finally see the water begin to peak, I immediately push the "STOP" button. I have to press STOP on the washer to allow the pipe time to drain . . then I pull "start" and let the tub drain, then stop & repeat that process again. You get the picture.  It takes a long time.  And it's not really fun either.  However, if I don't do this, the garage would end up flooded!

"So what is it that You are trying to teach me in THIS situation, Father?"  Well~~"Ask and ye shall receive..." LOL  He showed me something pretty neat:

The Lord reminded me of how He is watching us during our trials and storms. He can HEAR and SEE when we've just about "reached our limit." And before we "about LOSE IT completely," HE WILL PRESS STOP, letting some of that "water pressure" go down a bit. Then He'll pull out the tab and let the water drain some more. . . and keep on pressing STOP and START til the tub is empty.

"Oh Father, I am seeing where You're taking this one now!" Do y'all? He is trying to empty us of ourselves.
 Let that one sink in.

Compare my ridiculously inconvenient washer situation to our lives being drained of ourselves (*our selfish desires, sinful nature). . . that's the first cycle...then it fills back up again~~this time to rinse. Then. . . He washes us (with His cleansing blood) and rinses us off completely in His Living Water~~only to drain us again, little by little! This time, what's draining out (or pouring out) is . . . (drum roll) HIM!  His love, His power, His mercy, His compassion, His forgiveness is pouring out from us to others.   Selah.
"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said,
streams of living water will flow from within him."  John 7:38

Thank You Father for revealing this truth while I'm in the midst of an inconvenience. This was so worth the loads of laundry! And by the way, thank You that we have clothes to wear! Please help us to look, S E A R C H for the special N U G G E T of wisdom that You have carefully hidden in the middle of our circumstances...none of these inconveniences are meant to be obstacles, but a SpRiNg board to higher places. Thanks Father! Wash us, drain us of ourselves today, then fill us back up with Your Living Water... when we've reached the "max line," drain us out---for others to see the cleansed life You've given and the refreshing waters You offer. Thank You, and P.S.--now that I've learned the lesson, can we get the plumbing fixed?? Thanks :) In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

Breaking News!

EXTRA!! EXTRA!! We interrupt your day to give you an important update: Local plumber and son, B & C Yates, just released a statement: Main pipe line under house was so clogged they are just suh-prized ANYTHING could get through! To provide proof of this statement, they brought a piece of pipe line which further revealed a line almost entirely clogged by dirt and just overall G U N K! To add further to this development, the joints throughout the entire plumbing system were found to be in similar condition: CLOGGED! Local "Plumber and Son, Co." left with a final statement: "It's just a shock that anything could GO DOWN!" Son added, "Yeah, when my dad said it was clogged with junk, he was NOT KIDDING! Just look at my hands!"

This report brought to you by local reporter, Tammi
Stay tuned for tomorrow's continuing coverage of this story.

January 28, 2011

Purrfect Pity

Here's Myles, our kitty, when we first brought
him home. Oh, so tiny and cute!!  (so is Myles) 
"Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelelth and thy want as an armed man."
Proverbs 6:10, 11

We have a kitty cat that reminds me of Garfield in almost every way.  He's an orange tabby, and he's flabby! He eats twice a day (because I have to split up his once-a-day-feeding into 2 "helpings" to trick him into thinking he is eating more...) and then he sleeps for almost the entire day.   He refuses to eat salmon, chicken, tuna...the only thing he wants to eat is his crunchy dry cat food.   The vet calls him a carbohydrate "junky."   LOL  Maybe he'd eat lasagna, like Garfield---but I've not given him the chance to try it!  LOL  Anyway, I think he's learned how to pop the lid off his food container because I don't understand how he's become such a tub of "over-sized flabbyness." 

Ding, ding!  Oh boy!  Time for din-din!
At first, he was rather "active"---playful and running around like a wild kitty!  Exploring his new world.  Hey, he even enjoyed a "bed time story" too!  (I just love the expressions on their faces here....Myles looks so "thrilled!"  LOL)

Bedtime Story, May 2007

"Where's Waldo Myles?"

Maybe it was all the love and attention he received that "kept him from exercising."  ??  (Could we be enjoying our Heavenly Father's lap--where it's nice and cozy---just a little too much, instead of hopping down and exercising our faith just a little bit too--to keep us "in shape" spiritually??)     Hhhmmmm. 

The Royal Treatment for a "king."
Sooner or later it was bound to happen. . . the typical life of a cat began to emerge.  No more did we see playful little Myles romping around, chasing anything he could swat across the floor. 
Talk about an excuse for not doing your homework!?
My fat cat fell asleep on my notebook!
My daughter didn't look too disappointed either! LOL (2007)

S L O W L Y, but surely, he took over our recliner. . . and there you'd find him, always propped up lazily in the corner of the recliner.   Every now and then he'd roll over, or change positions ever so slightly, so as to not disturb his "body alignment."  LOL  

We are no longer allowed to enjoy our recliner! LOL (2010)
So, as I was folding yet another load of clothes, there slept "Mr. Pitty." (my nickname for Myles) Purring comfortably in the recliner. I thought to myself, "Myles, what a life!"  I used to think of the life of a cat as "easy street." And, from a cat's perspective, it really is easy street!  LOL  But as a child of God, I'm not really supposed to long for the "lazy life of a cat." I'm supposed to be "Busy about the Master's Business." Oh boy, when I thought of that, I began to have a little "pity" for Mr. Kitty. "Myles, WHAT A LIFE?! (unless, of course, you're looking at this from a cat's point of view)"   LOL

"Purrrrrfect Pity"
Pity Pity, Mr. Kitty, that you lay there all alone. . .
Cuddled up on my recliner, in this warm little home.
Your life's sure not exciting; it contains very little surprise.
But ME, I want to live a life that will be pleasing in my Father's eyes.

So every morning I better wake up, & stretch these muscles of faith.
I better get fed by the Word, and live as the Lord saith.
I'll follow Him each & every day; my life will not be boring!
And while you lay there purring so contently, I'll be busy, & not snoring!

Dear Father, even though the lazy life of a kitty seems appealing at first glance, please help me to be reminded whenever I see him resting there comfortably that You want me to be busy...serving You by serving others....Thank You Father for the promise of Your help for me today, even if I am tired. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

January 26, 2011

Kick the "CAN"

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.  Ephesians 3:20, 21 (KJV)

Earlier this morning I heard something that gave me a "pause"...a moment to really THINK about what the Holy Spirit allowed me to hear, and now "chew on" that truth.   I'll share it here with y'all.
I'll start with a question.  Do you believe that God can do anything?  In other words, when you read His precious promises in His Word, do you believe that God can honor His Word?  More than likely you will answer, "Yes."  
For so long now I've had faith that God can do anything. . .but here's the next question:  Do you believe that God can do anything through (Christ in) YOU?  Do you believe that He CAN accomplish His will through your surrendered heart?   Hmmmm.     Now, THAT's a tricky question.  
Like I said before, for so long I've believed that God CAN do anything. . .BUT~~there's that big BUT.   But, can (and WILL) He accomplish His perfect will through (Christ in) me?   Sometimes we get stuck right here.  Like the children of Israel, we're just stuck wandering in the wilderness, right outside of the Promised Land.    Many of them perished in the wilderness, without ever having experienced the Promised Land.  Why?  Because they didn't believe that God could defeat the "big enemies" in that land through (His power flowing through) THEM. 
How much faith do you have?  And what is your faith in?  Just God's WordOr in His Word, applied to YOUR very own heart, by the power of His Holy Spirit?   It's a personal thing here--- we can have a "boo-boo" and stand in front of the medicine cabinet and believe that the ointment and bandages will provide protection and promote healing...but if we do not reach in and apply those things to our "boo-boo," healing will not come as quickly, as well as other adverse things could happen (infection, etc.)  We'll never experience the benefits of those remedies unless we apply them to our particular area of need, right?    We can believe that God CAN, but until we believe that He WILL accomplish His perfect will by His power flowing through us, we'll never experience the FULL power of His Holy Spirit and Divine Direction upon our lives.   He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think---all He wants is for us to surrender our hearts and lives to Him, and allow HIM to do His work in and through us.    God has a special plan for each of our lives, personlized to each of us, and He is waiting for us to surrender our hearts to Him, to be a vessel, a channel, through which His power can flow.  All we have to do is offer ourselves to Him and BELIEVE He will do His work in and through us~~if only we will believe.
So...for today, I'm kicking the "CAN" and just believing HE WILL accomplish His will for my life, for His glory.  After all, doesn't He say that He not only gives us the desire to do His will, but also the ability to do it as well!??  Yes!   :)  
Dear Father, For so long I've believed in Your Word, trusted that You CAN.  But I think I've not had enough faith to believe that You CAN and WILL accomplish Your desire through my surrendered heart~as long as I remain obedient to You, and believe You.   Please forgive me for this lack of faith.  Please apply the lesson here to my "boo-boo"---to my heart, and promote healing, restoration and recovery to my spirit.  Not for my glory, but for Yours, for You've promised that You will turn everything around~ the good, the bad, and the ugly~ for OUR good and Your glory if we just allow You to---and also You want us to BELIEVE that You WILL do this for each of us, on a personal basis.  May this truth cause a richer, closer relationship with You and Your Son, Jesus to develop, and may the power of Your Holy Spirit rest upon me, as well as each dear person who is here today, with a desire to serve You and further Your Kingdom.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.

January 7, 2011

Do you know a R.O.B. ? ? ?

Roots and Stoney Ground

"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." 
Hebrews 12:15

Just wanted to share something that the Holy Spirit just pointed out to me.  It's short, it's quick, but it's TO THE POINT: and sometimes these types of lessons get "right down to the quick" (so to speak.)

The following quote was taken from "The Golden Treasury of Bible Wisdom~Words of Encouragement, Hope, and Wisdom" by Herschel B. Dean.   It's a wonderful compilation of scripture verses, with a quote by Herschel for each verse...something extra to "chew on."  And boy, oh boy, have they been such a blessing to me??!!  You bet!

For the above written scripture in Hebrews, here is what Mr. Dean said:"We must fight negative thought patterns and poutings or else they will neutralize our lives, leaving us ineffective and miserable.  Cheer up!  God loves you and has plans for you beyond your greatest dreams."

Look at the scripture again, and the phrase "Root of Bitterness."   Do you see the initials R.O.B. ??????????   What does a Root of Bitterness do?   Scripture tells us it ROBS not only US, but MANY others around us, of an effective, enjoyable, PRODUCTIVE, Spiritually-Successful, God-Driven, Christ-Centered, Spirit-filled, peaceful life! 

Is it possible to have a root of bitterness without having been offended by someone?  I used to associate a root of bitterness with what happens after a grudge is held for a long time against someone who has offended me.  But the Holy Spirit just showed me:  A negative spirit; a discouraged, seeing-the-glass-half-filled, gloomy outlook-on-life~~all of those things ARE a Root of Bitterness. . . and THEY ROB not only ME, but also EVERYONE AROUND ME ("thereby defiling MANY.")     O u C h !!   

Guess what happened, though?  

January 4, 2011

Keep the Candle Burning

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.   Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."  Matt. 5:14-16

Happy New Year to everyone!   2011.  As you and I begin a new year, we face an unknown future.  To some, this may bring excitement at the prospect of change; to others that change may bring a sense of fear and insecurity.  As I began to think about the New Year, a sense of insecurity began to overwhelm my heart. . .that's when the Holy Spirit urged me to pull a promise card from my little "Daily Promise bread box."   The verse I pulled was John 14:27b:  "....Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."  Then the back side of the card said "Never be afraid to entrust an unknown future to a known God." 
The Lord couldn't have called my cell phone and made that message any clearer to me than He had just done through His written Word! *sigh* Relief! :o)

Anyway, I'm in the process of taking down all the twinkling lights, and decorations---all of the typical reminders of Christmas.   This past Christmas I wasn't able to decorate the outside of the house, nor even put the lights in the window, due to lack of time. . .which made me sad.. But I was able to decorate the inside--which made me think: 

Aren't we supposed to have the Lord's light burning within our hearts?  Why yes!  How many of us try to "let our light shine" on the outside, but His Light hasn't yet begun to burn deep within our hearts? 

Now that the lights and decorations are tucked away 'til next Christmas, we can keep the candle burning within our hearts, keep the Spirit of Christmas--the true meaning of Christmas---burning within our hearts. . .we can let our lights shine for all men to see the Reason for the Season still shines within our hearts!   And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.  (John 12:32)  Let us lift Him up with our hearts in tuned to His Holy Spirit's power, so that He can draw all men unto Himself this year! 

Let's let our little lights shine...and guess what you get when you put a bunch of tiny pin-point lights shining, side-by-side?One GIANT BEAM OF LIGHT!  

The Christmas Lights don't have to be dimmed this year!  Let's let His light shine in the windows of our hearts to reach out to the lost and dying world around us~~for Christ!!

Happy New Year to each of you!
Dear Father, Even though You're not bound by time, we are facing another year. . .and this gives us time to reflect:  Have we grown closer to You, closer LIKE Your Son, and less like the world?  I pray for You to let the Light that You lit within my heart begin to burn even more.  Be the Holy Breath that fuels the fire, Holy Spirit.   I come to you, unwavering, believing You, for Your faithful promises are true--just like You are.  Thank You for bringing me, my family and my dear blogging family, through 2010. . .now hold our hands firmly as we journey into the New Year . . .burn within us; lift up Your Son--and draw ALL MEN unto You, for His name's sake, and glory, Amen.